I believe that everything God brings into our life is for a reason. Even hard things.We might not realize it at the time but they are most likely answers to prayers.
Every day I pray that God would draw me closer to himself and use me to draw others to him. I have also been asking God to help me be a better friend. God has been answering my prayers lately but not in the way I expected. Most days I love getting into the word and seeking the Lord. But when I am experiencing a hardship there is an urgency that I don't normally have to seek after God. I am desperate to hear from him and have him comfort me.
This past week God decided to answer my prayers. He completely brought me to the end of myself; as in...I was an emotional wreck. (I know what you are thinking and no, it was not that time of month;p Believe me that would explain a lot as there are many times when I am crying and I can't even explain why!)
Some hard circumstances occurred one after the other that triggered something in me that was not pleasant. I felt like I was being spiritually attacked. All I could think about were these hard things that I and my loved ones were going through. Some have been going on for years and some are new. It was just too much for me to handle. I couldn't process it all.
As I thought of all that was ahead of me and those I love, plus my responsibilities as a mother, wife, daughter and homeschooler; I quickly became overwhelmed. I felt myself sinking into a pit of despair. I literally could not. stop. crying. You know those kind of tears and sobs that no matter how hard you try to control and stop but will not be stopped? That is the kind I had. I am the kind of person that can not muster up a tear to save my life or seem to have an unending source of tears welling up inside me. This was a case of the latter.
Usually when I am going through a hard time I can cry out to the Lord...and my husband, and get back to a good place. Even though I did cry out to God and my husband, I continued to feel so distraught and alone. I felt so desperate to share with someone who understood what I was going through. I am finding that though I want my friends to reach out to me when they are going through a hard time, it's hard for me to do the same. I am afraid I will be burdening them. I am afraid that they won't understand. I am afraid that I shouldn't be upset about these things when others are going through much worse.
Though it felt against my nature I did reach out to some close friends. Thankfully they listened and prayed for me. I am so blessed to have them in my life.(You know who you are;)
In the past I have had some friends go through some really hard things. Sometimes my response to them was less than gentle and gracious. I would think, "Why couldn't they get it together? Come on, just suck it up. Everyone goes through hard things."
Even though I have felt this cloud of oppression over me before, it can be easy to forget how it felt to be in that dark place. Sometimes no matter what you do, you just can not pull yourself out. I believe that part of the reason God allowed me to go through this was to give me empathy for those who are going through the same things. Yes, I had to fight to get out of this funk, stop feeling sorry for myself and worrying about my loved ones. I had to fix my eyes on Jesus and off of the circumstances. I had to focus on the truth of God's word and his promises. I had to get into his presence through worship and praise, but I didn't do this in my own strength. As I cried out to the Lord, I know he enabled me one step at a time to climb out of the muck and the mire. And I know that those praying for me helped me to lift my head up again.
The biggest comfort to me through all of this is knowing that Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every way has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4: 15-16 ESV
And that he shed tears when he was in distress, weeps with us in our hard times and knows every tear that we shed.
"You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8 NLT
"Jesus wept" John 11:35
Also to know that I am not the only one to experience anxiety and emotional breakdowns! Just look what David says:
"Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!" Psalm 4:1 ESV
"I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eyes wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all of my foes. Depart from me all you workers of evil for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping." Psalm 6:7-8
Our lives here on earth are not going to be devoid of suffering, trials and tears. We can not deny our emotions and act like everything's okay, when it's not. But we can trust in the one who bore the ultimate suffering of carrying our sin and shame to the cross. Not only did he experience immense pain and humiliation for us, but he was separated from his Father. Though he asked the Father to take this cup of suffering from him he said, "Not what I will, but what you will."
Because Jesus was separated from God for a short while we have been united with him forever.
Whatever you are experiencing, know that God is with you and will never leave you.
You are not alone.
Even in the deepest darkest valley... he is there.
When you can't see through all the tears...he is there.
When you have nowhere to go...he is there.
When no one else understands...he is there.
When you can't carry your burdens anymore...he is there.
I am so thankful that I was able to lay all my burdens down at the cross this week and experience the weight of all my anxiety, fear and worry lighten. I know that this will be a continual process in my life, but I am learning to trust in his goodness and sovereignty... despite what I feel and despite my circumstances.
Are the circumstances of life weighing you down?
Have you ever experienced those never ending tears?
Do you ever feel like you are an emotional wreck or experiencing a break down??
If so please cry out to God and reach out to trusted friends who can pray for you and just be there for you. I would love to pray for you also if you want to reach out to me:)
If this is not the case for you but you know someone going through a hard time, reach out to them. Even if you can't understand, just by listening and praying for them you are being the hands and feet of Jesus.
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep" Romans 12:15 ESV
As we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior this weekend, let's remember that he is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, wants to help us in our time of need... and dry all our tears!
Linking up here!